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Russia Needs To Once Again Brace Itself For A Prolonged Rivalry With Germany
The sooner that Russia’s expert community abandons their wishful thinking hopes for a rapprochement with Germany, the sooner that the Kremlin can promulgate the appropriate policies for containing this latent threat before it’s too late.
Top Russian experts Fyodor Lukyanov and Timofey Bordachev published back-to-back analyses at RT about their country’s relations with Germany, both of which suggested some wishful thinking. The first’s was constructively critiqued here with regards to him omitting any mention of Germany’s regional competition with Poland being a factor behind its new anti-Russian role. The second’s, meanwhile, will be responded to in the present piece that will also address Russia’s expert community in general.
President Putin warned his country’s analysts against indulging in wishful thinking last summer when speaking to current staff and veterans of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) on the centenary of their structure’s founding by the USSR. He advised that “analysis must be realistic, objective and based on verified information and a wide range of reliable sources. One should not indulge in wishful thinking”, which is precisely what must be kept in mind concerning Russia’s relations with Germany.
Taken together, Lukyanov and Bordachev’s pieces hint that ties might improve in the event that the Greens are removed from influencing the formulation of their country’s foreign policy. While it’s true that the German left and right have shared views about the need to improve ties with Russia so as to restore their country’s reliable access to cheap energy, which formed the basis of its hugely successful economic model for decades, it can’t be taken for granted that either will lead Germany anytime soon.
Instead of holding out hope for that scenario unfolding sometime in the coming future, Russia needs to once again brace itself for a prolonged rivalry with Germany. Unlike in the 1930s, this one isn’t predestined to end in another world war, but it does indeed evoke shades of the Nazi-Soviet proxy war in Spain when it comes to Berlin’s growing military role in NATO’s proxy war on Russia through Ukraine. Russian experts should consider this development a turning point in bilateral relations with Germany.
There’s no going back after what Berlin just did since its leadership clearly signaled to Russia that they consider themselves to truly be in a New Cold War with Moscow over the future of the emerging world order and are willing to indirectly kill Russians in Ukraine so as to advance their agenda. Chancellor Scholz is a “weak leader” exactly as Bordachev assessed in his analysis for RT, but the manifesto that he unveiled in the US in early December on behalf of his permanent bureaucracy should be taken seriously.
It was analyzed at length here but can be summarized as Germany finally declaring its hegemonic ambitions that were already discernable during Merkel’s era. About that time, Secretary of the Russian National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said in mid-March that “For years, the White House controlled [former chancellor] Angela Merkel”, which prompted a reassessment of her legacy after many in the Alt-Media Community and the Russian expert one alike wrongly considered her to be friendly.
Her candid admission in early December that the Minsk Accords were just a ruse for rearming Kiev ahead of a final NATO-backed offensive against Donbass showed that Germany was always conspiring against Russia, but her close relationship with President Putin misled the Kremlin. It’s understandable in hindsight why Russia’s expert community fell for her high-level influence operation back then, but Lukyanov and Bordachev’s pieces suggest that it’s still clinging to hopes for a rapprochement.
With the deepest of respect for both of them, they’re rational experts who struggle to acknowledge that their German peers no longer view relations with Russia as mutually beneficial but as a liability for ideological and geopolitical reasons. The first refers to their liberal-globalist worldview that’s completely at odds with Russia’s conservative-sovereigntist one, the details of which can be read about in the preceding hyperlinks, while the second was covered in the earlier hyperlinked response to Lukyanov.
Germany’s polar opposite worldview and regional competition with Poland for influence over Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), particularly in Ukraine but also in Belarus too, combine to make its prolonged rivalry with Russia inevitable. Everything has already moved too far along that trajectory to be reversed, especially after Scholz unveiled his previously mentioned hegemonic manifesto in early December, which can be considered to have promulgated Germany’s prolonged rivalry with Russia into official policy.
There’s no going back after the proverbial Rubicon was just crossed, and clinging to hope that everything might soon change is just a coping mechanism for those who are still in shock after what just happened. Instead of remaining in denial or attributing it all to a single political party, Russian experts must urgently acknowledge this state of affairs, which is approved by Germany’s permanent bureaucracy. Since Germany is preparing for a prolonged rivalry with Russia, the latter has no choice but to do the same.
Accordingly, Russia should place Germany in the same category as the US and UK, perceiving it as an interminable rival instead of a possible partner. All three function as complementary parts of the liberal-globalist hegemon that’s vying for world domination in the New Cold War. Absent the black swan event of the AfD or Die Linke assuming the chancellorship, which Germany’s ruling elite will conspire with its Anglo-American allies to stop by hook or by crook, this is the “new normal”.
Any signals of internal dissent should be ignored by Russian experts since it’s very unlikely that they represent an emerging trend. Germany’s perception managers might even mischievously misportray them in order to mislead Moscow, especially if its intelligence agencies assess that policymakers remain under wishful thinking illusions about the possibility of a rapprochement like Lukyanov and Bordachev’s latest pieces suggest, which could further delay the Kremlin’s formulation of an appropriate response.
With a view to the future, the Russian-German rivalry is expected to define the European front of the New Cold War, especially its ideological dimension since both espouse completely different worldviews. At present, Germany’s continental ambitions are partially kept in check by Poland’s rise as a Great Power across the CEE space, but the ruling “Law & Justice” (PIS) party’s potential loss in this fall’s elections could turn that country into a client state if the Berlin-backed opposition comes to power.
Even if PIS retains its leading position, irrespective of whether it enters into a coalition with the anti-establishment Confederation party, Germany will remain Russia’s top Great Power rival in Europe for the geopolitical and ideological reasons that were explained in this analysis. The sooner that Russia’s expert community abandons their wishful thinking hopes for a rapprochement with Germany, the sooner that the Kremlin can promulgate the appropriate policies for containing this latent threat before it’s too late.